How to increase your chances of a great interview

Make sure your Resume (or Curriculum Vitae) is up to date

Your resume should capture the best of you in just a few pages. Although there's no single correct way to write or format a resume, we've come up with a guide which covers the basic information you should include.

A few extra tips on resume writing:

  • Always list your employment history starting with the most recent job and working backwards.
  • Include the dates you worked for each employer.
  • List your education details starting with the most recent qualification and working backwards. If your secondary education was more than 10 years ago, you probably don't need to include this.
  • If you've attended courses that are relevant to the job you've applied for, list these starting with the most recent course.
  • Including referee details on your resume is optional. If you decide to list your referees, make sure they're happy to provide you with a reference.

Interview Tips

Before the interview

  • Ask for a copy of the job description if one is available. Make sure you understand the responsibilities and tasks and make notes to ask the interviewer if anything is unclear.
  • Do some background research on the company (its history, structure, products/services, goals, locations, values etc).
  • Most interviewers require you to answer questions with specific examples of instances where you've been able to prove your abilities in your current or past roles. Common questions might be centered around customer service, problem solving, organisation skills, attention to detail or team work (to name a few). Think back to some of your successes (and failures) and make notes if you think you might struggle to remember these examples at the interview.
  • Know the exact time and location of the interview and the name(s) of the interviewer(s).

Dress appropriately

  • Dress in a way that's appropriate to the job you're applying for.
  • Choose clothing you feel comfortable and confident in. Ensure your clothes are clean and pressed.
  • Personal grooming is very important. Make sure your hair is tidy, wear deodorant and avoid wearing too much make-up or fragrance.
  • If you're applying for a job with your current employer, it's usually acceptable to wear whatever your normal work attire might be.

During the interview

Do Don't
  • Arrive at the venue early so you don't feel flustered and have time to collect your thoughts.
  • Turn off your mobile phone (or switch it to silent mode).
  • Think about the questions before answering. If you're unsure about a question, ask the interviewer to clarify. Elaborate steps/process you might take to answer the question, but most importantly stay on topic.
  • Stay relaxed, friendly and polite. It's okay to be nervous.
  • Be specific with your answers and provide details of specific situations that you have experienced.
 
  • Arrive late.
  • Invent or exaggerate your experience or skills.
  • Be negative.
  • Give answers you've memorised prior to the interview.
  • Provide very brief answers
  • Provide examples that are not relevant or move off topic
  • Answer your phone if it rings.

It's a good idea to prepare some of your own questions for the interviewer. Asking relevant questions about the job or company can show the interviewer your enthusiasm, initiative and preparation.

At the conclusion of the interview, ask the interviewer if there's any extra information they need from you, and find out when you might expect to hear back from them. Most of all, thank them for taking the time to meet with you.

After the interview

  • If you haven't heard from the recruiter or hiring manager within the time frame mentioned at the interview, it's appropriate to send a polite follow-up email requesting an update.
  • If you've been selected to move forward in the process, be aware that things might move quite quickly; you may be invited back for a second interview or asked to complete an assessment/test. The recruiter or hiring manager may wish to contact your referees. It's important for you to make sure your referees are happy to answer questions about your past performance BEFORE the recruiter or hiring manager contacts them.
  • If you have not been successful, take onboard the feedback the recruiter or hiring manager gives you and use this as an experience to learn for your next interview. If the feedback is unclear, it's appropriate to ask for further clarification.

Other useful links

Update Your Skills

Skills One
Hundreds of videos about getting a trade or skill

My Skills
National directory of vocational education and training (VET) organisations and courses.

WorldSkills Australia
WorldSkills Australia is a social enterprise that passionately believes skills drive the future of young people, and of Australia.

Australian Apprenticeships - My Gain
Video resource for getting involved in an apprenticeship or traineeship in Australia

Jobs & Career Advice

Job Jumpstart
Tips and ideas about jobs and careers in the one spot

My Future
Career Information Service - discover your strengths to help make the right career decisions for you.

The Good Careers Guide
A comprehensive resource assisting students and jobseekers to commence their career journey

Job Outlook
Job Outlook can help you make decisions about study and training, your first job, or the next step in your career.

Be Work Smart Workbook
Workbook on getting the right job and keeping it

Get Support

YouthWorX NT
Non-for-profit organisation that supports career development opportunities for all young Territorians.

Year13
Year13 is an online resource for post school options that specialises in providing information and services on Apprenticeships, Gap Year Programs, Job Vacancies, Studying, Money Advice, Internships and the fun of life after school.

Australian Apprenticeships
Connecting you to apprenticeships all around Australia

Job Search

NT Apprenticeships and Traineeships Database
Search database for apprenticeships and traineeships in the Northern Territory (NT)

Australian Apprenticeships Pathways
Find Job & Training Descriptions

JobSearch
A useful resource for Employers and Job Seekers. 

Industry Specific 

Construction Careers
Offering information for students, apprentices, parents and careers advisers about construction industry career opportunities, enabling informed decisions about their futures.

Career Development Association of Australia (CDAA)
Career development enables people to make decisions about work and maximise their contribution to our communities.

Others

Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors
Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors know first-hand the value in investing in an Australian Apprenticeship.

National Employment Services Association (NESA)
A peak body for Australia’s employment services sector

National Training Information Service
A site that provides information on all Apprenticeships, Traineeships, Courses and Registered Training Organisations

National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER)
National professional body responsible for collecting, managing, analysing and communicating research and statistics on the Australian vocational education and training (VET) sector.